What was found?
Over 13% of the students reported daytime wheezing in the past year. Eight schools were located within 10 miles of at least one pulp and paper mill, and staff at nine schools said they noticed paper mill odor.
For students who were not exposed to tobacco smoke, no differences in wheezing were found between schools near versus those far from paper mills. However, for students exposed to tobacco smoke, either because they smoked or had smokers in their homes, the prevalence of wheezing differed according to the measures of schools’ exposure to pollution from paper mills.
Among students exposed to tobacco smoke, those who attended schools where staff noticed paper mill odor reported 12% more wheezing than similar students at schools where no odor was reported. Those attending schools within 10 miles of a mill reported 21% more wheezing than similar students at schools located at least 30 miles from the nearest mill (15%). Those who attended schools within 10 miles of a mill where staff also noticed odor reported 28% more wheezing.